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Farmers retail workers walking off shop floor

Workers in Auckland at Botany, Manukau and Pukekohe are walking off the job today over Farmers’ refusal to pay the Living Wage and the company’s faulty performance pay system that keeps wages down.

Staff at the Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Shore and Timaru stores will be taking partial strike actions of a uniform strike with staff wearing an ‘F for Farmers: Farmers Workers Deserve a Living Wage’ sticker on their shirt in reference to the company’s unfair performance pay system and unliveable wages. Yesterday staff across the country took similar partial strike actions.

Retail, Finance and Commerce Divisional Secretary Tali Williams says Farmers retail workers have long been graded under an unfair performance pay system and have decided to grade their own employer in return.
“Farmers workers give their employer an F. An F for the lowest wages in the industry, an F for an unfair performance pay system. An F for not listening to the concerns of their staff.”

Staff will continue taking actions over the next two weeks to demonstrate to customers why their employer deserves an ‘F’.
Ms Williams says it’s time Farmers recognised what workers and companies signed up to the Worth It campaign are all about.
“Farmers needs to stay true to its family brand and ensure its workers are on living wages that keep them and their families happy and healthy, not struggling to get by.”

Lynda, who works at an Auckland store says, “I’ve been here 23 years this August and I’m not on the Living Wage, it’s a bit embarrassing, I don’t disclose, even to my family, what I get. The Living Wage would enable me to save somewhat towards retirement. On my own, on these wages, I cannot save and I don’t want my husband to have to compensate for Farmer’s low pay.”

“Others are living pay check to pay check, they are struggling to pay rent and bills, I really feel for those who’re on even less than myself. They use things like Oxipay from work instead of buying from anywhere else because there’s no other way to buy things like Christmas presents for their children. Some of my colleagues need to get loans for simple car repair work because these are the things they can’t afford to save for while raising a family,” she says.

She adds she likes her work and colleagues, “We enjoy working at Farmers, it’s a bit like a family, I do enjoy my work and the customers I meet along the way, that’s why I’ve stayed there so long.”

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